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Upgrading Ram

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by robobobo, Mar 25, 2009.

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  1. robobobo

    robobobo Thread Starter

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    Hi Guys,

    I'm planning on buying more ram for my computer,
    I just want to make sure that it will increase the performance of my computer,
    I've read its better for multi-tasking which i do alot but other people who use the computer dont and want it to be quicker starting up etc..

    I originally had 256 mb when i bought the computer but i upgraded to 768mb
    I planning on adding 2Gb 2x 1gb chips
    I have a 3Ghz processor (intel pentium 4) running windows xp

    Alot of the time i get "Windows virtual memory is running low" error message and i read that when you havent enough ram this occurs.

    So i know more ram will increase multi tasking abililties but will it increase computers speed?

    Thanks
     
  2. Jones

    Jones

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    First, use Crucial.com's system scanner to find out exactly what kind of memory you need:
    http://www.crucial.com/

    More memory won't technically make the computer 'faster', but it will make it significantly easier for the computer to do more than one thing at once, and more responsive to your actions. You will notice a big improvement in going to 2gb.
     
  3. GR-TEK

    GR-TEK

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    One question we always come across is how much random access memory (RAM) do you need for a computer to speed it up. Up to a point, adding RAM will normally cause your computer to seem faster on certain types of operations.

    When you run a program such as a word processor or an internet browser, the CPU in your computer pulls the file off the hard disk and loads it into RAM. The microprocessor also pulls in a number of shared dynamic link libraries (DLLs), shared pieces of code used by multiple applications. The DLLs take many more megabytes. Large programs can use large amounts of memory.

    The microprocessor (CPU) loads in the data files at which you want to use, which might total several megabytes if you have loaded more than one document or browsing several pages with a lot of graphics. This can slow your system down significantly if there isn't enough memory. On your computer system, you may at any given time you might have several applications running: A word processor, an email program, a spreadsheet, several internet browser windows and so on. All these programs plus the operating system will use the available RAM.

    Every time something is loaded or opened, it is placed into RAM. This simply means that it has been put in the computer's temporary storage area so that the CPU can access that information faster and more easily. The CPU requests the data it needs from RAM, processes it and writes new data back to RAM in a continuous cycle. When an application is closed, it and any accompanying files are usually purged (deleted) from RAM to make room for new data. If there isn't enough RAM, the computer uses the Hard Drive to store these temporary files. A hard drive is a lot slower than RAM and so if your computer stores all this data on the hard drive instead of RAM , it will inevitably slow down the computer.

    RAM is important because it reduces the need for the computer to "swap" data to the hard drive.

    When Windows XP was first introduced RAM was still very expensive and many systems were built using smaller amounts of RAM like 128 Megabytes and 256 Megabytes. Windows XP actually required more RAM to run efficiently. In turn XP used the "Swap File" on the hard drive a lot more extensively. This slowed down the computer a lot because hard drives are a lot slower than RAM. Upgrading the system to 1 Gigabyte of RAM sped the system up dramatically because XP no longer needed to use the Swap File on the hard drive so extensively. It meant XP could use the larger amount of RAM to swap the data around rather than the hard drive.

    This led to the common belief that the more RAM in a system the faster the computer. In fact, this is not always the case.

    If your computer system had only 128 megabytes of RAM and you upgraded to 1 gigabyte, you would really notice the speed increase quite dramatically. But increasing the RAM from 1 gigabyte to 2 gigabytes or more, makes very little difference to the speed of the system. XP was very comfortable with 1 gigabyte of RAM.

    Microsoft Vista is generally very comfortable with 2 or 3 gigs of RAM and increasing RAM beyond this usually results in very little speed increase. There are, however, some programs that do prefer extra RAM. These are usually large photo editing programs and the like.

    A 32-bit version of Vista or XP will never even use the full 4GB of RAM in your system. It's because of the memory mapped IO reservations, which control how the onboard memory on your installed devices overwrites parts of the system memory, which lowers the total memory available to Vista or XP itself. According to Microsoft, the 32-bit version of Vista is limited to 3.12GB of total available memory. This can vary according to how the system has addressed the RAM from the Video Graphics card. You can usually expect anything from 3.12GB to 3.58GB

    To go beyond 4 gigabytes means you need Vista (or XP) 64bit. But installing 8 gigabytes of RAM will not increase performance of your system. Unless you have a program which can specifically use all this RAM then the extra RAM is usually wasted. If you require more speed and performance extra RAM will not help. Spending the extra money on a faster CPU or Graphics card is the best way to go.

    GR-TEK Gaming Computers www.gr-tek.com.au
     
  4. robobobo

    robobobo Thread Starter

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    Thank You That really gives you an insight into how ram works etc..

    I have my 2Gb Ordered and im wondering,

    My Pc Has 4 slots for ram,
    3 of which are currently in use,
    2x 128mb and 1x 512mb

    Im getting 2x1gb ram cards as im meant to install my ram in pairs for dual memory

    What would be my best configiration
    2x1gb and 2x128mb
    or
    2x1gb and 1x512mb?

    Thanks
     
  5. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Wow, that was a lot of copy-paste.
    Anyways, to tell you the best configuration, we would need to know the models, or at least frequencies and latencies of the 128 MB and 512 MB sticks you have. It might even be better to leave them out, as just as GR-TEK said, more RAM is not always better, especially if it's slower than the majority of it...
     
  6. GR-TEK

    GR-TEK

    Joined:
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    Because you already hyave the 2gb on order, try that with your other RAM to see if it is compatible. I wouldn't worry about Dual Channel, the increase in performance is only marginal. Check the link below....
    http://www.gr-tek.com.au/ramperformance.php

    GR-TEK Gaming Computers
     
  7. BG-0

    BG-0

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    GR-TEK, is there ANY proof, any test configurations, any way of how that was measured behind that chart? I would greatly appreciate some.
     
  8. Masta Squidge

    Masta Squidge

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    That chart is the most vague, one sided thing I have ever seen. There are countless well explained, controlled tests out there that show that running dual channel does in fact improve performance. Your chart doesnt show any real comparison at all. If it did you would have shown 512mb x2 in dual channel and 1 gb x1 and the difference. You would have shown 1bg x2 vs 2gb x1. You would have shown 2gb x2 vs 4gb x1.

    What you have though is a chart with a bunch of unkown brands (they could vary greatly in performance) we dont know latencies, we dont know the test bed. It shows nothing and looks like nothing more than a made up graph. hell, the numbers dont even make sense to anyone who doesnt know 3dmark, and probably not to the people who do either (im having an issue figuring out what is being compared here).

    That chart is BS. I think your chart is there to save you money on your builds by claiming a single stick will run just as fast as two, and then you charge the same price anyways.

    I had a whole spiel typed up about why your prices are high, even with free shipping and warranty taken into account... but I guess ill leave your business alone on that note since I am not familiar with your quality. That could make up for it... but I personally think a pre-built pc isnt worth the money.
     
  9. GR-TEK

    GR-TEK

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    The test used exactly the same type of RAM for each test. All it is meant to show is that more RAM or even in dual channel does not mean better performance.
    It just shows that Specifications in this industry can be very misleading.
     
  10. BG-0

    BG-0

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    I what cases does that apply? In ONE computer where you tested in ONE benchmark program (which do not show any kind of real-life performance anyways), in ONE computer, with ONE kind of RAM. From what you said, it would also seem it was all 1 GB sticks, so that's even less of a scale. It does not show anything to anyone. It's just something you(or whoever it was) happened to pull out from a series of tests, and as the "series" consists of, what, 5 tests, it's nothing to rely on. It's just a neat chart to make another tab on your website and have it look cool to someone who doesn't know anything about these things. I hope your business will do good, but I do also hope that you won't advertize it in every thread you post into, and I hope you cut the BS that chart represents.
     
  11. hrlow2

    hrlow2

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    Bravo BG-O
    Advertising in very many threads could gain him(her) thre reputation of a spammer, which nobody with any sense tries to get.
     
  12. GR-TEK

    GR-TEK

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  13. hrlow2

    hrlow2

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    A 4 year old article?
    Great advances have been made in PCs, RAM, and motherboards since that article was written.
    We (I would) like to see some more current evidence to back up your "chart".
     
  14. GR-TEK

    GR-TEK

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  15. BG-0

    BG-0

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    That's still 2 years old, and only games, and it still shows that dual channel works faster than single. 2 years ago dual channel kits and such could've cost more than 1-5% more than single channel like they currently do (comparing high quality, reliable manufacturer's memory), so back then the speed difference was pointless for the money, but today there's no point not using dual/triple channel.
     
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